For this week’s protest song, Alec Hall submitted a piece created as a comment on the criminalization of black bodies in the United States and how black life is often erased from American culture and society. The 11-minute string quartet composition, “28 Hours,” is the first reader-submitted protest song featured here at Shadowproof.
J.B. Lenoir’s “Alabama Blues” is a rather well-known blues protest song. It stands out because, by the 1960s, it was increasingly rare for blues musicians to sing about poverty, despair, and social injustice. And, fifty years since the tune was recorded under the supervision of Chicago blues master Willie Dixon, its lyrics still carry a deep resonance.
It was the anniversary of the death of Mike Brown, the black teenager in Ferguson who was gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson. To mark the event, a concert of revolutionary musicians called “Ferguson Rocks” was held in St. Louis. The lineup included Tom Morello and the Freedom Fighter Orchestra,